ECS A75F-A Black Series £90
22nd Sep 2011 | 09:00
A budget route to the world of AMD APUs
The ECS A75F-A is a new member of its Black Series family of motherboards. The Black Series is home to the company's range of performance products and anyone used to seeing the Black Series Intel boards with all their added razzmatazz may be a bit shocked by this board.
It looks, dare we say it, a wee bit dull by comparison. When you first get the A75F-A Black Series out of its box there's a feeling that something is not quite right and that's down to the slightly narrower width. There's nothing wrong with being thinner than normal, indeed inside some cases it's a blessing not being as snug as a standard width board.
When it comes to performance the A75F-A is up there with the best of them, but in terms of overclocking the A8-3850 the A75F-A Black Series couldn't quite hit the 3.7GHz heights achieved by the Asus F1A75-V Pro.
Getting it to run stably at 3.5GHz (600MHz over the standard clock) is still none-too shabby an overclock.
The BIOS offers support for memory speeds up to 1,866MHz and while 1,600MHz was fine the same couldn't be said for the low voltage 1,866MHz we tried.
It doesn't help when the BIOS doesn't allow you to set the voltage you need and you have to keep going back to the PC Health section to see what the memory voltage is. Time consuming and frankly a right pain.
CPU rendering performance
Cinebench 11.5: Index: Higher is better
Asus F1A75-V Pro: 3.42
ECS A75F-A Black Extreme: 3.45
Gigabyte A75-UD4H: 3.46
MSI A75MA-G55: 3.4
CPU gaming performance
Shogun 2: Frames per second: Higher is better
Asus F1A75-V Pro: 20
ECS A75F-A Black Extreme: 16
Gigabyte A75-UD4H: 17
MSI A75MA-G55: 19
There's not much in the way of fancy extras on the A75F-A but this isn't a put-down, in fact it makes a change to see a motherboard not crammed to the gills with unnecessary extras, but there are still better boards around for the cash.
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